General comment

Ron Press anclondon at
Tue Jan 31 13:50:07 MST 1995



>>From: Justin Schwartz <jschwart at>
 The Labor Theory of Value is widely rejected even by Marxist economists<<<

This is a bit of an all pervasive statement. What do they substitute??

>>From: boddhisatva <foucault at>
 The simple fact is that people are not going to stop wanting to get rich, nor should
they.  Consumers are not going to stop wanting innovation, nor should they.  Our job
as Marxists is to unshackle the productive force.  Wage exploitation is that shackle.
Independent worker enterprise is the key.<<

If you add to this a more equtable redistribution of wealth and resources then I
reluctantly agree. I still feel there is a limit. How many cars does one need? Is transport
the need not the car?

>>From: boddhisatva <foucault at>
The relationship of man to earth is essentially moot to Marxism (unlike the relationship
of man to woman or white to black) because only human relations are fundamental to
Marxism. Environmental panic seems inevitably to give way to a planned economy
ideal, precluding the necessity for true worker control of production in its logic.
The issue of creating a greener human economy is vastly important, but it is
not a Marxist cause.>>

See my later comment.

>>From: Louis N Proyect <lnp3 at>
Look, Justin, all this talk about "science" is a little silly.
Marxism is not physics. It's a mistake to picture Marxists as men and
women in white coats in a laboratory somewhere trying to achieve
breakthroughs in the same way that scientists have made breakthroughs
in nuclear physics for example. Einstein posited some laws and then
researchers in the field were able to split atoms in a laboratory and
proved the theory empirically.<<

Sorry to say I am un-reformed scientist (Rationalist--Marxist-- What ever label you wish

There are to my mind inter-relating levels of human endeavour ( or a seeking after God
if you like, To my mind saying it is all down to a god of whatever ilk is placing a
question mark in place of an answer. God is the largest question mark of all).

>Mathematics,> Physics,> Chemistry,> Biology,> Economics,> Psychology,> Politics...

Each subsequent level is more complex because in incorporates the previous layer.
This makes Politics the most complex and difficult.

I do not see any Iron or Bamboo curtain between them.

(Islamic fundamentalism is subject to rational analysis. In this analysis one might
conclude that to the rationalist it is irrational. But then something is irrational merely
because we have not understood it clearly enough. Lightening was irrational until we
began to understand it.)

Thus I cannot accept that  There is no science of society. I believe this science to be
called Marxism. ( Again I am not wedded to a name but I am wedded to a scientific
method. I believe Marx to be one of the great minds in this sphere. Just as Galileo,
Newton, Einstein... are in Physics.)

It could be said that Social scientists do not perform experiments and see if their
theories work. This is not true. Margaret Thatcher in UK, Vervoed in South Africa, Lenin
in the USSR, so many have had theories which they have tried out. Most had limited
success. Lenin had perhaps the most lasting success.

Such experiments continue to be performed. Uganda under Museveny, South Africa
under Mandela....

Because each level incorporates the lower level the practice of politics incorporates the
Greens, the Church, Fascists, .....

Thus if we as politicians ( Even the philosopher is taking part in political action)
dismiss the Greens, the Trade Unions, the Anti Racists then we suffer a loss of data,
of support, of understanding.

I agree that to change the present system to a better one we need to seek the weakest
link in the chain, ( Or find the butterfly wing). The beauty of life is that there are so
many weak links. In certain circumstances the Greens constitute that link, in another
a particular strike....

Thus my advice to.

>>>From: Justin Schwartz <jschwart at>

I too am worried that Marxist theorists, inside the academy or out, are
cut off from a vital labor. much less socialist movement. I don't know
what to do about this. I have been asking for ideas: I'll do it again.
What should we, who are interested in Marxist theory and in socialist
practice, do with our theoretical work here and now? Proyect says: write
Monthly Review level articles on particular issues reflecting some more or
less orthodox perspective. I say that's fine as far as it goes, but
Monthly Review hasn't taken the world by the throat, alas. What else?<<<<

is Seek ye the link closest to your environment

PS Please advise...

>>>From: boddhisatva <foucault at>
        My own analysis of capitalist economies hinges on a two market
system.  There is the market in goods and productive capital, and there is
the market in instrunments that extract profit from the other market.
Monopolies are good investments for their enhanced ability as profit
extractors.  Small firms are closer in practice to socialist enterprises (as
American right-wingers love to point out) because they have less<<<

Is this the beginning of a suggestion that the MARKET can be part of the socialist system.

I still have a pair of pliers I bought in Moscow. It has the price stamped into the steel. No market here. No inflation. No Flexability. Result under pressure collapse???

Ron Press


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